Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Back to School 2015 is upon us. Children all over the country are packing their pencils and crayons into backpacks, getting class assignments and waiting for the bus. But, the start of a new school year may not bring excitement to all families. Back to School can create extra challenges for the already challenging lives of children with sensory processing disorders. As you ready your kids for the next big school year, try some of the tips below for helping to make a seamless transition for you and your kids.
Manage the Morning – Create a list of all the tasks that must get done in the morning. Time each one ahead of time, so that you know how long it will take on average. Try to eliminate any stimuli or distractions to keep your child on task.
Bedtime Prep 2 Weeks Before – Begin prepping for your child’s school bedtime routine about 2 weeks before school starts. You can iron out all the kinks that may come up ahead of time, as well as help your child become accustomed to the new routine.
Pump Your Kids Up – Children feed off of your energy. If you demonstrate a lot of negative or nervous energy about the beginning of school, your children will pick up on this. Be excited about the start of school and let your kids know it. They’ll absorb your positive energy and be excited themselves.
Establish Communication with the Teacher – This one is so important. You need to establish good communication with your child’s teacher right up front. Make sure you know the best way to contact the teacher and when is a good time to contact her/him. Help the teacher by letting them know about your child’s challenges, as well as methods that you have for helping them through it.
Have a Safe Zone – Establish a safe zone for your child. Whenever things – such as homework, the bedtime routine or the morning fluster – get to be too overwhelming for your child, make sure he has a place to escape for a few minutes. The safe zone should be free of stimuli and contain things that help him cope.
Visit School Ahead of Time – Most schools have a Back To School Night. These can tend to be packed with people and a little overwhelming, however. Gauge your child and if an event like this might be too much for him, arrange another time to visit the school during a calmer environment. But, it’s important to visit the school ahead of time so that your child starts to develop a sense of familiarity with his new surroundings.
Pack a Sensory Kit – Pack a kit to put in your child’s backpack of things that help your child. Let the teacher know what is in the kit and how it will help your child. Making sure the teachers and administrators know the types of triggers that create challenges, as well as what things help your child to overcome them will help everyone.
Make a Trial Run – Practice the routine for the entire day ahead of time. This should include getting ready in the morning, how the child will get to school and get home, and what activities they are to do when arriving home (i.e. homework, chores, playtime, TV time, etc.). Knowing the routine what is expected of him each day, will help your child to adapt.
Give the Child a Sense of Control – A new routine might be a little scary for your son or daughter, but letting them make small choices will help them to feel more in control. Make sure the choices are not open-ended, but between no more than two or three things. For example: braid or ponytail for your daughter’s hair, the dinosaur, ninja turtle or super hero shirt for your son, cereal or pancakes for breakfast, Kids Bop or the soundtrack to Frozen in the car.
Make a Seam-Free First Day Outfit – As moms, we have a tendency to want to dress our children up for the first day. They look so much cuter for all the first day photos. It may be tough, but try to ignore this urge. Choose an outfit that is comfortable and doesn’t have any annoying lumps, bumps or tags. Your child will have a more comfortable first day all around if they’re feeling comfortable, too. Don’t forget your SmartKnitKIDS seamless socks, underwear, bralette and compresso t, and your kiddo will be on their way to a great first day!!
Happy First Day of School 2015 from your friends at SmartKnitKIDS!! Here’s to a seamless school year!!